…Here there’s an almond tree—you have never seen
Such a one in the north—it flowers on the street, and I stand
Every day by the fence to look up for the flowers that expand
At rest in the blue, and wonder at what they mean.
Under the almond tree, the happy lands
Provence, Japan, and Italy repose,
And passing feet are chatter and clapping of those
Who play around us, country girls clapping their hands…
By D. H. Lawrence
This tree is native to the Middle East, found in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey. There appears to be some concern over planting almond and peach trees in close proximity, as it is believed they will hybridize to make bitter almonds!
Almonds were found in Tutankhamen, the boy Pharaoh’s tomb in Egypt, dating from 1325 BC. It is held that almonds, along with dates, grapes and olives were amongst the earliest foods to be cultivated. Almonds were probably cultivated in the Early Bronze Age (3000-2000 BC).
In Ayurvedic medicine, of India, almonds are given to nourish the brain and nervous system. Almonds have anti-inflammatory, immunity boosting, and anti-hepatotoxicity effects. A study showed that eating 73 almonds daily would lower LDL cholesterol by 9%.
The almond nut may be eaten out of hand either raw, or cooked. It can also be used to make almond milk or flour. Almond butter is made from ground almonds and used much like peanut butter.
Dyes can be obtained from various parts of the tree:
Leaves – green
Fruit – dark gray to green
Roots & leaves – yellow